By Mike Kruzman /

Through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners has passed their new fiscal year budget.

Despite the many uncertainties that coronavirus thrust upon the world for most of this year and looking forward to the future, Livingston County has passed a 2021 budget that is only less than 1% off from their 2020 Revised Operating Budget. The total 2021 budget is just over $95.6-million.

County Commission Chairwoman Carol Griffith spoke to this being one budget that county residents should be proud of. She said it is balanced and "mindful of the hardworking taxpayers in the county." Griffith thanked several department heads and officials for the many hours of work and deliberation that they put into it.

According to a memo to the Board of Commissioners from Griffith, Commission Vice-Chair Kate Lawrence, and County Administrator Nathan Burd one of main changes between the revised 2020 budget and the upcoming 2021 budget is the General Fund Budget decreasing by $114,000, or .22-percent. $900,000 is scheduled for capital improvements this coming year, with an additional $1.2-million from the general fund being made as an additional payment to the County pension plan. That plan is a “major expense” and represents over 8-percent of all expenses.

The Board’s memo claims that Livingston County continues to operate with the lowest county millage in the state and that this budget allows them to maintain high levels of service without an increase in taxes. It concludes that acting prudently and moving forward conservatively is a long term commitment of the Board as representatives of the citizens of Livingston County.